(CHARLESTOWN NEVIS) The opening ceremony of the 45th Leeward Islands Debating Competition (LIDC) commenced last night Thursday, February 23, 2017 at the Nevis Performing Arts Theatre (NEPAC).
The ceremony began with the Invocation by Pastor James Douglas. This was followed by the National Anthem, which was done by students of the Nevis Sixth Form College.
Chairperson of the ceremony, Mr. Mervin Hanley, gave the opening remarks. He told those in attendance, that the competition began some 45 years ago in Montserrat. Hanley noted that the competition was introduced in an effort for the children of different islands to debate political and socio-economical issues. In closing, Hanley urged the students to compete hard but the rivalry should be friendly. He also encouraged the students from other territories to enjoy what Nevis has to offer.
Deputy Premier, Hon Mark Brantley, also gave some brief remarks. He indicated that it was indeed a pleasure for him to be present among so many of the region’s future leaders. He noted that the future belongs to them and he was of the belief that they are going to make the best use of it. Brantley also encouraged the students to be independent thinkers along life’s journey, and they must not be afraid to take chances and to be innovative. In closing, he wished all the debaters success and that the best team wins.
The first debate was between St. Kitts and St. Maarten. Team St. Maarten proposed the Moot ‘The high cost of youth unemployment relief programmes outweighs the benefits’ while team St. Kitts opposed the topic.
Each debater was given an allotted time of seven minutes to make their presentation and five minutes to rebut.
The proposition was represented by Stefanas Hendrik Waakzaam and Dawud Mohamud. Kamau Grant and Vikell Edwards Douglas represented the opposition.
At the end of the evening’s proceedings, the judges unanimously concluded that team St. Kitts was ahead of their competitors gaining a total of 659 points. St. Maarten amassed a total of 567 points.
The decision of best speaker was seemingly a rather tough choice and the judges opted to tie two debaters. Vikell Edwards Douglas and Dawud Mohamud Chapman were tied with a total of 178 points respectively.
Two debates will take place this evening. Host country Nevis will come up against Montserrat in the first debate and Anguilla will take on the British Virgin Islands in the second encounter.
The topic for the first debate is, ‘The global rise in anti-immigration sentiments is justified’. Montserrat will propose the topic and Nevis will oppose.
The topic for the second debate is, ‘Caribbean educational practices lag far behind other regions’.